Just over a year after announcing a much-needed update to the 15-year-old Advanced Combat Helmet, the Army is testing out an even stronger and lighter combat helmet that officials claim offers rifle protection comparable to current ballistics options at a 40% reduction in weight
Officials from the Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) showed off the new prototype during Close Combat Lethality Tech Day at the end of May alongside the Personnel Armor System for Ground Troops (PAGST) helmet and Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH) systems.
Made from ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene rather than the traditional Kevlar, the NSRDEC prototype helmet weighs just 3.25 pounds, well below the original ACH's 3.5 pounds and the Integrated Head Protection System's (IHPS) 3.25 pounds (and 5.77 pounds with ballistics mandible).
The prototype helmet "demonstrated a new capability for increased rifle protection at about 40% reduced weight," NSRDEC public affairs chief David Accetta told Task & Purpose, adding that the system also demonstrated "the same protection level as the current [IHPS] without the modular applique worn over the helmet shell."
The prototype combat helmet comes as the Army looks to reconcile a need for improved body armor load weights with efforts to produce traumatic brain injuries with programs like the IHPS, scheduled a planned battlefield debut of 2020. As NSRDEC's Richard Green told Army Times during a recent showcase of the new prototype helmet:“There’s kind of a competition between increased threat and weight."
UPDATE: This article previously characterized the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center prototype helmet as the most recent iteration of the ACH Gen II rather than a distinct project. We regret the error. (Updated 6/13/2018 4:10 pm EST)
Rebekah "Moani" Daniel and her husband Walter Daniel. (Walter Daniel/Luvera Law Firm)
The Supreme Court on Monday denied a petition to hear a wrongful death case involving the controversial Feres Doctrine — a major blow to advocates seeking to undo the 69-year-old legal rule that bars U.S. service members and their families from suing the government for injury or death deemed to have been brought on by military service.
FORT IRWIN, California -- Anyone who's been here has seen it: the field of brightly painted boulders surrounding a small mountain of rocks that symbolizes unit pride at the Army's National Training Center.
For nearly four decades, combat units have painted their insignias on boulders near the road into this post. It's known as Painted Rocks.